Want to Know What Makes the Troops Laugh? Comedian Louis CK in Afghanistan (Quite NSFW)

The other day, a teenaged friend asked me if the war in Afghanistan is still going on. The answer is yes. Presumably, it won't be when he reaches draft age.

In the meantime, here's some extremely NSFW footage of Louis CK entertaining the troops at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan a few years back. Looking for a quick overview of what makes the troops laugh? Cinnabon, schlubby middle aged dudes comparing themselves unfavorably to the audience's rock hard leanness, and the F word. The one whose non-slang definition is "a bundle of sticks."

Given the make up of the crowd, it made me uneasy. This was most assuredly not a preaching-to-the-choir situation, though the young audience member who filmed the routine without the benefit of a tripod notes: " I didn't even know who he was before this set. He's one of my top 3 favorites now. I just wanted other people to see him like I did. I wish I could have a conversation with him!"

Hopefully, by now, hero worship will have steered him to the second episode of CK' s semiautobiographical show, in which extremely forthcoming gay comedian, Rick Crom, schools a tableful of straight poker buddies on various sexual practices. His matter-of-fact demeanor leads CK to ask how a queer crowd might react to his "faggot" routine. The fact that CK also produced and scripted this show is enough to convince me that his aim is true.

It's worth noting that the presumably straight (watch his other videos) Youtuber who filmed and hosts this video liked ''Louis CK - Laughing at Gay People" but also the Freddie Mercury Google Doodle.

Given CK's mad respect for anyone serving in the military, perhaps this young man can convince him that it's time to retire "retard" as a pejorative … even if he's talking about his own kids.

Related Content:

The Surreal Short Films of Louis C.K., 1993-1999

Louis CK Ridicules Avant-Garde Art on 1990s MTV Show

Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Ricky Gervais Dissect the Craft of Comedy (NSFW)

Ayun Halliday is also sick of epilepsy as punchline or shortcut. Follow her @AyunHalliday


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  • BaferBrokensträng says:

    This is really flabby writing, to say the least.

    There are two immediate answers to the question, “Looking for a quick overview of what makes the troops laugh?” The first is yours, a list of some of the material from Louis’s set. The next answer is mine.

    How is it that someone who is (presumably) paid to write can get something utterly wrong?

    I’ve not heard Louis’s USO set for a while, but I’d happily bet that the vast majority of the material is from Chewed Up.

    Which means he did not prep a specific set for his USO trip. Which means that he had been all over America, running in material to get it in ‘special-worthy’.

    Which means, ultimately, that the whole notion you have, “Looking for a quick overview of what makes the troops laugh?” is vapid.

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